Margate NOW, a festival of creativity, opens to celebrate Turner Prize 2019

Margate NOW, a festival of creativity, opens to celebrate Turner Prize 2019

Margate NOW (28 September – 12 January 2020), an inspiring festival of art, events and performances guest curated by Russell Tovey launches across Margate this weekend to mark the opening of the Turner Prize 2019 exhibition at Turner Contemporary.

Following an open call devised by Margate Festival earlier this spring, 500 artists and performers are producing 60 events over the course of the festival, responding to the theme ‘NOW’.  The opening weekend will see a takeover by Margate NOW artists at Turner Contemporary, the England premiere of 1927’s production Roots at Theatre Royal Margate, a 24 hour disco durational performance from Liene Steinberga Cesar, installation ‘23p Beans’ and film ‘Komma Hem’ at Resort as well as ‘Approaching Veriditas (Epilogue)’ at Crate, ‘Plus One’ at Limbo, Open School East’s commission by textile designer Yemi Awosile, and artist studios being open throughout the town.

Guest curated by actor and art patron Russell Tovey, the programme for Margate NOW is developed by a consortium of local partners and artists. Art works, music, dance, exhibitions, installations, performances will take over galleries and theatres as well as shops and other unexpected places – inviting visitors to see the town in a new light. The stunning 1930s Sunshine Café is also open to the public for the first time in a decade with a show of former Turner Prize winners and nominees.

Margate NOW builds on the ongoing regeneration of the town driven by Turner Contemporary.  Since opening its doors in 2011, the gallery has generated over £70 million for the local economy, led to the opening of over 150 new businesses and attracted over 3.3 million visits. Following a successful bid from Turner Contemporary and partners, Margate NOW is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, as well as further contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland Margate.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, says: “Art, culture and creativity provide us all with a powerful opportunity to make a contribution to the vitality of communities across England. Whether it is in bringing communities together, promoting individual wellbeing, or helping towns to adapt to changing economic circumstances, the arts have an ever-increasing role to play in helping us all to live well. Margate NOW is wonderfully positioned to do exactly this for Margate, whilst also ensuring that everyone in the town is connected to and can feel a sense of pride in Turner Contemporary’s hosting of the Turner Prize.”

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary Margate, says: “We are thrilled to lead Margate NOW, an ambitious partnership project which will enable audiences locally, nationally and internationally to connect with Turner Prize 2019 and explore the wider creative ecology that exists, and continues to expand, beyond our walls. Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has played a leading role in transforming Margate and East Kent; showcasing world class art, attracting millions of visits and driving real social and economic impact. Hosting one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for contemporary art is a real opportunity for the whole community to celebrate the art and creativity alive here in Margate today.”

Additional Margate NOW festival highlights include;

  • A fantastical sequence of daytime and evening projections produced by award-winning theatre company 1927 in collaboration with every Year 5 pupil in Margate. These will be shown in different locations throughout the town in December.
  • ‘Printed Whispers’, a major new public design commission by Yemi Awosile in collaboration with Open School East, the Margate-based space for artistic and collaborative learning that offers free programmes to emerging artists and the public.  An alumni of the school, Awosile has connected with over 150 members of the local community to create a design combining hand crafted, experimental and digital embroidery techniques with a collection of large-scale, colourful fabrics and surface designs.
  • A new interactive commission on Turner Contemporary’s terrace from Yuri Suzuki uses artificial intelligence to bring together digital sound and sculpture. In collaboration with Kent Libraries, Turner Contemporary has worked with participants across Kent to contribute to the commission.
  • Specially programmed events from Dreamland including NOWland supporting four independent local producers working with music, performance and art to support the night time economy
  • A new creative installation by Studio TAC at Margate Train Station delivered in partnership with Southeastern Railway. Turner Contemporary will also be working with new volunteers under a programme supported with funding from the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust. Volunteers will greet visitors and act as guides to events and happenings across the town.

Artists, Collectives and Companies:

1927 | Adam Carr & Jan Noble | Alex Chinneck | Anna Symes, Round in Circles | Anne Ryan & Andrew Child | Anthony Giles | Appletye | Art Car Boot Fair | Arts Education Exchange | Arts Emergency | Ash Mukherjee Dance Company | Bob Chicalors | Charlie Evaristo-Boyce | Coney | Connor Sansby | Dan Bass | Dan Scott | Dawn Cole, Dan Thompson, Tracey Thompson, Graham Ward | Emma Gibson | Free Range Orchestra | Genetic Moo | Heather Tait | Helen Whitehead | Holly Slingsby | Invisible Women | Jay Rechsteiner | Jemma Channing | Jessica Jordan-Wrench | John Hislop | Jordan Gray | Katie Fiore | Katrin Hanusch | Kavel Rafferty | Laura Durward & Emily Wood | Lee Cavaliere | Leigh Clarke | Liam O’Driscoll I Liene Steinberga Cesar | Looping the Loop | Lucy Lyons | Lunatraktors | Matt Mapleston | Maxine Sutton | Mel Cole | Open School East Associates 2019 | Power Monkey Sound Systems | Profanity Embroidery Group | RL-a | Roy Eastland | Ruth Fox | Sadie Hennessy | Sara Trillo | SLiDE Collective | Steve McPherson | studio TAC | Teresa Limbrick | Tom Verity, Melanie Wheeler I Transit Collective | Turner Contemporaries | Ty Locke | UK Arts International | Waste Free Fashion Collective | Well Projects | Yemi Awosile | Yuri Suzuki | Zoe Murphy

Participating Venues:

Bon Volks | Carl Freedman Gallery | CRATE | Dreamland, Margate | Gordon House | Joseph Wales | Kill Me Now | Liddicoat & Goldhill Project Space | Limbo | Lombard Street Gallery | Lovelys | Margate Station | Marine Studios | Margate WI | Northdown Studios | Olby’s | Pie Factory Margate | Pump House Yard | RESORT | Theatre Royal Margate | Tom Thumb Theatre | Turner Contemporary | Windmill Community Gardens

Margate NOW guest curator, Russell Tovey, says: “I’ve always had a close relationship with art and began collecting art in my mid 20s whilst acting in The History Boys. Initially, I was excited by the buzz of investing in art and buying something that would outlive me. As my collection has grown my interest has developed into supporting emerging and mid-career artists as well as becoming a patron for a number of not-for-profit public art institutions. Margate NOW is such an exciting programme. Art can be powerful and engaging and I am looking forward to seeing the town brought to life in unusual, surprising and entertaining ways. I’ve really enjoyed helping to curate and select artists for the festival. It’s great to be able to support and encourage the creation of new art and new ideas.

Jo Murray, Dan Chilcott and Jenny Duff, Margate Festival team, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming everyone to Margate NOW 2019. We want you to feel as much a participant in this year’s festival as a spectator. Artistic activities and pop up events will be occurring around every corner throughout the festival which aims to surprise, delight and inspire. Please join us in the festivities and celebrate Margate’s amazing artistic and cultural community.”

Eddie Kemsley, CEO of Dreamland Margate, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Margate NOW and helping the world to celebrate the music, art and the creativity that runs through the veins of our town. The Nowland programme will see different artists and creatives working in venues across the town on a series of evening events, and our famous ‘Tiina’ Turner head sculpture by Cool Shit – complete with karaoke booth – will be up and running on the park during the Turner Prize opening weekend (28th & 29th Sept). This is going to be an amazing year for Margate NOW, we’re thrilled as ever to be part of it”

Anna Colin, Director and Naami Padi, Deputy Director, Open School East, said: “We are pleased to unveil the Open School East commission, which has been awarded to designer and alumnus Yemi Awosile. Engaging with local life and history, this public design commission combines hand crafted, experimental and digital embroidery techniques, and includes a collection of large-scale, colourful fabrics, and surface designs. The motifs used for the work have been created by approximately 150 members of the local community over the course of the summer. They further reference archive designs from previous students of the original Thanet School of Arts and Crafts – which from 1931-74 operated in the same building that Open School East now occupies.”

Paul Barritt, Co-Artistic Director, 1927, said:  “1927 are delighted to be collaborating with the school children of Margate, creating a series of installations, including Raree Show boxes, interactive animated scenes and outdoor video-mapping – providing community wide enjoyment for their families, friends and neighbours; Margate’s burgeoning artist community and the many visitors to the Turner Prize.”

Sarah Bedingfield, Service Manager, Kent Libraries, said: “Kent Libraries are excited to be involved in engaging a wide range of people in the creation of this unique artistic experience”.

Cllr Mike Hill OBE, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Kent County Council, said: “Turner Prize 2019 has captured the imagination of many artists working across a huge range of artforms. Margate Now, led by Turner Contemporary, will be a spectacular backdrop to the Prize which will bring the town to life and provide hundreds of opportunities for people to get involved.”

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Deputy Leader, Thanet District Council, said:

“This is an amazing moment for Thanet with so many free and exciting activities on offer for every member of the community.  We’re looking forward to visitors and residents witnessing the creative verve of Thanet in full force.”

Notes to editors

Russell Tovey

Today Tovey’s collection is a reflection of his journey with art since the early 2000s. Currently focused on emerging American-based artists employing figurative and geometric abstraction, he has recently acquired works by Jamian Juliano-Villani, Loie Hollowell , Cheyenne Julien, Lisa Brice, Jonas Wood, Jennifer Packer, Shio Kusaka and Walter Price. The collection also includes works by many Royal Academicians including Margate local Tracey Emin, Michael Craig Martin, Rose Wylie and Wolfgang Tillmans.

About Margate NOW

Margate NOW runs from Saturday 28 September to Sunday 13 October, with a small number of events and exhibitions continuing until 12 January 2020.

Margate NOW has been developed in collaboration with partners. This includes; Turner Contemporary, Margate Festival, Open School East, Resort, 1927, Crate and Limbo Studios, Dreamland Margate, Kent County Council and Kent Libraries, Thanet District Council, Southeastern and local artists. The programme is funded by Arts Council England through National Lottery funding, as well as contributions from Kent County Council, Thanet District Council and Dreamland, Margate and the Colyer-Fergusson Charitable Trust.

Please note that all public events are subject to relevant permissions and licenses.

About Turner Prize 2019

Sat 28 Sep 2019 – Sun 12 Jan 2020, Entry is Free

One of the best known prizes for visual arts in the world, Turner Prize 2019 is coming to Turner Contemporary. Every other year, the prize leaves Tate Britain and is presented at a venue outside London.

Four of the most exciting artists working right now are shortlisted to win the prize based on an outstanding exhibition that has taken place in the previous year.

The prize is renowned for triggering debates around new developments in contemporary British art. The work of the four artists will feature in the exhibition at Turner Contemporary and the winner will be announced at a major awards ceremony in December 2019.

The Turner Prize is named after J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) who was an innovative and controversial artist in his day, is now seen as one of the greatest British artists, and expressed a wish to establish a prize for young artists. Turner Contemporary is named after the artist for similar reasons; our work is inspired by Turner’s innovative and radical approach to art.

About Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary in Margate is one of the most distinctive galleries in the UK; its impact stretches beyond culture-led regeneration and the showcasing of world-class exhibitions, to pioneering change by making the arts more vital and connected to daily life.

Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has:

  • Generated over £70 million for the local economy
  • Led to the opening of over 150 new businesses
  •  Safeguarded 155 jobs
  • Attracted over 3.2 million visits

Turner Contemporary

  • In copy please refer to Turner Contemporary and not ‘The Turner Contemporary’ or ‘The Turner’
  • Summer opening times: Open every day in July and August, 10am – 6pm.
  • Turner Prize 2019 opening times: Open every day, Mon – Fri, 11am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Admission to the gallery is free.
  • Address: Turner Contemporary, Rendezvous, Margate, CT9 1HG
  • Information: + 44 (0) 1843 233000,
  •  Turner Contemporary is a charity, receiving public funding from Kent County Council and Arts Council England.